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As ibneko kindly pointed out, Arashi no Yoru Ni has been subtitled. ^_^ (You'll need a recent player, like VLC, as it uses H.264 for video, Vorbis for audio, within a Matroska container. Hopefully they've used soft subs - much nicer to be able to choose where subtitles appear, such as below the picture. Ah, no - it's hardsubbed) Catch the trailer here, if you want to see what it's all about.

Bolt City is a collection of comic strip works, all of very high quality; eg Copper: "Bunny".

Keith Olbermann's been one of the more perceptive US political commentators of the past few years, even engaging in investigative journalism at times. This closing monologue on Rumsfeld's comments on disagreement is a powerful and timely reminder. He finished with Edward R Murrow:
“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty,” he said, in 1954. “We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

“We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.”

Sci-Fi Pulse claims Torchwood recording's not been going entirely to plan, courtesy of poor low-light performance of their new HD cameras, forcing the use of brighter lighting.

Panda sneeze. ^_^

It looks like the Mac mini's been silently upgraded, according to one recipient's unit, delivered as a 1.6GHz Core Duo rather than the base model's advertised 1.5GHz Core Solo, plus a larger HD and DVD-R. Much more appealing, even allowing for the GMA945 graphics.

"A Vatican official has said the Catholic church will excommunicate a medical team who performed Colombia's first legal abortion on an 11-year-old girl, who was eight weeks pregnant after being raped by her stepfather."

terminotaur came across this rather good, drily cynical Australian PSA on voting and the democratic process.

Someone's come up with a hack to strip iTunes 6's DRM, in the form of QTFairUse6, but regrettably, it appears to piggyback on top of iTunes, intercepting the decrypted AAC data, prior to decompression. So, you do wind up with a "clean" file, but only produced in real-time. It's also Windows-specific at the moment, but that may change. (It's not related to the original code of the Hymn Project, which, I believe, was able to decrypt the "protected" files itself, and thus wasn't subject to the real-time limitation)

Thinking of AAC, what HE AAC (aka AACplus) implementations are there? I'd been hoping that'd appear in QT7, but that didn't happen. Sometime, I otter rip a well-engineered clip or two and compress it in a variety of codecs and bitrates, then back to 44.1kHz PCM, and offer the results here for blind testing.

If you're using OmniWeb 5.5, you can enable a DOM inspector by entering this at a shell prompt; it'll then be available in the contextual menu. Quite spiffy, actually - nicely separated within a HUD-style translucent window.

defaults write com.omnigroup.OmniWeb5 WebKitDeveloperExtras -bool true

The copper bunny strip's style is rather reminiscent of VG Cats, I'd say. :)

Shame about the excommunication; I really wonder whether these people (the catholic church, that is) are evil or just really, really stupid and misguided. It sure is getting harder and harder to believe the latter, though.

The fascist party spot was interesting, too - and it sure makes an interesting point insofar as that voting for (basically) one of two evils[1] every four years or so is hardly something that deserves to be called "democracy" in the truest sense - that is, a reign of the people. And of course, the part about getting one's information from just one TV station or newspaper is true in too many cases, too, and touches upon the larger problem of (a lack of) what I like to call "media competence" - that is, knowing how to deal with media, how to separate truth from fiction, how to be skeptical, how to not let your opinion get influenced by inflammatory reporting, and so on. I really think that this should be a subject that's taught in school - instead of reading Shakespeare or Goethe (or whatever), we should learn how to be able to be informed participants in a democracy instead of just being sheep who will swallow everything given to them. Ah well.

BTW, I also think you forgot to link to the iTunes 6 descrambler... :)

1. Depending on where you live, you may have more evils to choose from, of course, but the basic idea is the same.
Hmm.. there are some similarities in style, yes - that use of the lower eyelids at the end definitely appears in VGC occasionally. (Not to say this isn't its own strip, of course) The other strips on the site are well worth looking into, needless to say.

This is always one of the root causes of trouble within religion - the difference between abiding by the governing principles, versus obeying specific (and all too often, selectively chosen) rules. The latter's much more easily achieved, whereas the former requires an appreciation for the ways espoused by the gods/prophets involved, and how best to apply those to current day life.

There's really the key - how to treat media reports with a realistic degree of scepticism. Not paranoia, but just taking into account the multiplicity of perspectives that may be available - the stories from the Guardian, CNN, the New York Times, al-Jazeera, and Ha'aretz won't necessarily be singing the same tune, and the reporting may be more or less investigative or bombastic, depending on the organisation's house style, and the individual journalist's own perspective and talent. The net makes a wide range of news sources easily possible, and really ought to be encouraged - in part, as that makes demonisation of the devil du jour that much more difficult.

Which is not to say it's easily attained, of course - Iraqi politics, f'rex, are quite complex, and heavily sectarian, with each group having its own religious and political motivations, such as the Kurds vs Turkey. Juan Cole's one good person to read on such matters, as he's well-read on the politics and history of the region, and speaks the languages involved; "lost in translation" isn't just the name of a film. =:)

Reminds me, I need to fetch some of those FSI language courses.

The problem with linking to QTFairUse6 is it doesn't really seem to have a home as such - it's very much a work in progress. A good place to check, though, is in the Hymn Project forum. Unsurprisingly, it seems to be the attention of some quite intensive development. ^_^ Wish the DRM itself were an open secret, but the encryption appears to remain secure. (Maybe someone can write a BOINC project to run a brute-force attack? =:)
Yeah, skepticism, taking reports with a grain of salt, and keeping in mind that everyone (obviously politicians, but also journalists, editors etc.) has a motivation and/or an agenda is not always easy. But I think it helps to try to not form an opinion until you have enough information to do so; there's a tendency among people to have an opinion on anything right from the start, and cognitive dissonance later on makes it quite difficult to change that opinion, even when new facts emerge or when it turns out that the old ones weren't really facts after all. Reserving judgement until you know enough to actually, well, judge things instead of just parroting what the journalist whose article you just read or whose report you just watched repeats... that's a valuable skill, too.

Not sure what FSI means. :)

As for QtFairUse6... well, a forum post/thread is a good start already. ^.^ Thanks!